Officer Libke's name to go on fallen officers memorial

Officer Libke's name to go on fallen officers memorial
Robert Libke (Photo from Oregon City Police)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The name of slain Oregon City reserve police officer Robert Libke will be added to the Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Libke, 41, was fatally shot in November while responding to a house fire started by an 88-year-old man who had a gun. The gunman, Lawrence Cambra, then killed himself.

Libke left behind a pregnant wife, and the addition of his name was unanimously approved Thursday by the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training.

"This will be an honor that will be here forever," said Eriks Gabliks, director of the standards and training department. "It really is a living tribute to the family to say we've never forgotten your sacrifice."

Libke will be honored at a May 6 ceremony along with Jackson County Deputy Charles Basye, who was fatally beaten by a prisoner escaping from jail in June 1917. His death had been overlooked until research done by the sheriff's office.

According to (Medford) Mail Tribune articles from 1917, the prisoner — John Lee Ragsdale — later killed himself while surrounded by a posse in the brush south of Jacksonville. He had been followed to the area by four boys, all 10 or younger.

Basye and Libke will the 179th and 180th names on the memorial at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem. It includes officers from city, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies who have died in the line of duty since the 1880s.

Libke, a general supervisor at Evraz Oregon Steel in Portland, had been a volunteer reserve officer with the Oregon City Police Department since 2009.

Gabliks said there are roughly 2,000 reserve officers in Oregon compared with about 10,000 full-time officers.

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